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Published in the 1-15 Mar 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Geelani statement

The Milli Gazette Online

Fifteen days after he was shot at and injured, SAR Geelani was discharged from AIIMS on February 22. He was taken to Nandita Haksar's home where he later addressed the media. On the same day Delhi Police submitted the status report to Supreme Court on its probe into the attack. SC had asked the Delhi Police to submit a report to it on the first day of attack when his senior counsel Ram Jethmalani brought it to the notice of the SC. 

Addressing the media Geelani said, " I do not understand why anyone wants to kill me. Unfortunately such attempts on Kashmiris who are concerned about the future of Kashmiri people are not rare. However, I do not think the Kashmir problem can be resolved by violence…. I think many democratic-minded Indians shared my sentiments and that is why they have been fighting for my acquittal. Even now I do not know whether I will be finally acquitted by Supreme Court". Geelani stood by the statement he made on February 14, a full text of which follows:

On February 8, 2005 I attended the hearing in the Parliament attack case at the Supreme Court. I have been following the proceedings before the Supreme Court and carefully listening to the arguments of the prosecution. It seems they are willing to go any extent to get me hanged. They are making allegations against me for the first time in the Supreme Court and those allegations were never put to me at the time when I gave my statements under section 313 at the stage of trial.

The prosecution has almost finished their arguments and so my lawyers are preparing for the final. In that connection I have been visiting the house of Ms Nandita Haksar, my advocate at 163 Vasant Enclave, New Delhi-110057. She and Ms Kamini Jaiswal have been preparing the final arguments for my senior counsel, Mr Ram Jethmalani. 

Attending the court I went to take my classes at Zakir Hussain College. Ms Nandita Haksar told me that since I was tired I need not go to her place that evening. At around five in the evening Ms Nandita Haksar phoned me on my mobile to ask whether It would be possible for me to drop by her house so that she could discuss some points. I said I would. 

I left college around eight p.m. and drove to Ms Haksar's home. Sometimes I park just outside her house and sometimes I park near the triangle park inside the colony. That night I parked near the park. I got down from my car and checked whether the doors are locked. Then I saw a man standing on the other side with pistol or revolver held in both hands. He was medium height, wearing pant and shirt, wheatish complexion, trimmed hair and unshaven. He did not have spectacles.

I realised he was aiming at me and suddenly he started firing. I ran towards the house of Ms Haksar. I had been hit in the stomach and it took all my determination to reach her house. I desperately banged on the door and shouted out her and her husband's name. 

Ms Nandita Haksar's husband, Mr Sebastian Hongray, opened the door and I told him " I have been shot. Take me to the hospital".

Nandita and Sebastian took me to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences. The doctors attended to me immediately. I am really thankful to the doctors, surgeons, and nurses of AIIMS for saving my life and for the care they are taking of me.

Naturally I will be asked whom do I suspect. I do not have any personal enmity with anyone. I am saddened to read that the police have tried to blame Mohammed Afzal and Shoukat. It was Afzal who told the media that I was being framed and the police told him not to speak about me. They expressed their happiness at my acquittal.

The only people who seem to be determined to harm me are the police in the Special Cell of the Delhi Police. They picked me up on December 14, 2001 and brutally tortured me in an effort to make me give a false confession saying I was involved in the conspiracy to attack Parliament. They ran a vicious campaign through the media against me. They were visibly delighted on the day I was sentenced to death by the designated court. 

I believe the attacks on me within the Jail were also engineered by them. And I am being followed everyday ever since I stepped out of jail.

While I was in the custody of the Special Cell I was subjected to continuous humiliation and verbal abuse. I felt they were not attacking me personally but all Muslims especially Kashmiris. They were rabidly communal and filled with hate. 

I do not obviously know for certain whether it was the policemen of the Special Branch who tried to kill me on February 8, 2005. But there are certain facts that need to be investigated.

First, apart from my lawyer Ms Nandita Haksar, and myself no one knew that I would be going to her house. The only other way of knowing my movements are by tapping our phones or monitoring my movement by keeping a watch on my mobile phone. Who can have access to this technology? 

Second, at whose instance was there at least one murderous attack on me in the Tihar jail? There has been no probe on the incident despite the fact that the All India Defence Committee filed a complaint before the National Human Rights Commission. 

Third, who are the people who have been shadowing me ever since I was acquitted? I have felt that there is a threat to my life and I have said so in the numerous interviews to the media and stated in my affidavit-in-Reply in the Supreme Court in March 2004.

Fourthly, why did the Special Cell frame me in the first instance. Why did they tell lies on oath in court about the time, place and date of my arrest. 

The police have been telling the media that I am not giving my statement. I never had any intention of not giving my statement. But till Sunday, February 13, 2005 my wound had still not been stitched. All these days I have had several tubes sticking into various parts of the body and I had still not even a drop of water on the day the police tried to pressurise me into giving any statement when they gave out the news that I had refused to give my statement. 

The pollce have been harassing my family members who are under shock. They have taken away my car and so deprived my family to transport. They have also taken away my PAN card and bank documents. They have seized the computer that I presented to my children on my acquittal. I do not even use a computer and it is for their use. My family members are already traumatised and it is inhuman to harass them at a time like this. 

It is also shocking that the police have made wild allegations against my lawyer, Ms Nandita Haksar and even against her husband, Mr Sebastian Hongray who brought me to the hospital in time and thus saved my life.
All this goes to show that my life is still under threat.

I would like to thank all my friends, students, and media persons and colleagues who have stood by me and my family at this difficult time. I believe that we are all, each in our own way fighting the threat of fascist-communal forces in India which are threatening to undermine basic democratic norms and principles.

I am giving this statement to the All India Defence Committee set up for my defence.

Sayed Abdul Rahman Geelani, A.I.I.M.S, New Delhi: February 14, 2005 

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